This year's Project Runway contestants are just launching their careers -- and the knockoff artists aren't far behind.
The resourceful Cookie at Knitters Anonymous (for a reason, perhaps?) loved the hats that Kara Janx sent down the runway during New York Fashion Week (left) so much that she sourced the yarn, knitted a copy (right), and published her instructions.
if you dont have enough money to afford kara's hats, you're welcome to recruit me for cheap labor... ;) well, i do knit a lot, so if you're BPR and want a handknit piece, lemme know! i do it out of love.
Legal issue? Not with respect to copying the hat, and probably not with respect to using Kara's name (provided that customers aren't confused as to whether the copies are authorized and that the name isn't used as a trademark on unauthorized copies made for sale).
Moral quandary? Perhaps not for a home knitter inspired by Kara to make her own version (in Cookie's case, sans ear flaps). But is professing admiration for a startup designer consistent with potentially undercutting her market and her attractiveness to much-needed investors? Knitting a Chanel-style sweater jacket -- for which I recently saw unauthorized instructions in a magazine -- won't overturn Lagerfeld's empire, but the effect on a young designer could be much greater. Viewed in property terms, "stealing" designs from the rich or the poor is indistinguishable -- but the actual impact is potentially quite different.
So congratulations to Kara on finding a fan base -- now she just needs paying customers and capital.